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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After ...traditions continue, begin, and skipped

It's the day after Christmas and I am tired. A good friend told me a couple of weeks ago that I had not written anything on my blog in awhile and needed to get busy. So here it is ...

This was the first Christmas in a long time where I was really excited. I looked forward to the decorations,although we scaled way down this year, the shopping (thank you Amazon), the cooking (okay, so Steve does most of the cooking, but I was helping - some), everyone coming together, cleaning the house (yes, it was me-not the housekeeper), all of it. I missed my brothers not being here, but we did get to see Sam and Joe the day before. Buster moved to Dallas and had to work Christmas day so we haven't seen him or talked to him yet.

We began something new this year with the grandchildren. I read them a story a couple weeks ago about "The Christmas Pickle" and we have our own Christmas pickle ornament. So we hid it on the tree the night before and when they arrived Christmas day, they had to find it. The first to find it gets a special prize. This year it was a huge Reese's candy bar. It took about 15 minutes to find the pickle. It was so funny watching them look for the ornament. Coleman found it. New tradition born.

We always open gifts after we eat. The kids were so excited. They have learned that we do stockings first. So they each grab a pillow to sit on and wait patiently for all of the adults to get to the living room and then they dump their stockings. Then we do gifts. One at a time so that everyone has the opportunity to see and enjoy the excitement and joy on the face of the receiver. This is something that began years ago with Steve's Mom and Dad. Tradition continues.

Steve tells me that our son-in-law was very disappointed that I didn't make my famous cranberry salad for Christmas dinner. I thought about it, had all the ingredients, but didn't. I won't make that mistake again. I love my son-in-law and know that there are not many things that I can make that he would like. I will make this for him every year from now on. Tradition forgotten.

As I sat here today, a couple of things came to mind. Each year since my mom passed away I have displayed the last gift that I received from her. It was a reindeer Christmas decoration. I didn't put it out this year. I don't know why, but I really think that it is okay. Tradition changed.

The months and days leading up to Christmas are so full of anticipation and anxiety. The shopping, pickles, gifts, cranberry salad, and reindeer are fun and the things that memories are made of. We often forget the real reason for celebrating Christmas is the birth of Jesus. It is my prayer that this will not be a tradition that is changed or forgotten, but will continue and quite possibly be the beginning for many.

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